The Best Automotive Shop & Body Repair In OKC!
(405) 634-8200
The Best Automotive Shop & Body Repair In OKC!
(405) 634-8200

Navigating the Hail Damage Claim Process: From Filing to Repair

navigating the hail damage and hail repair process

Hailstorms can be both awe-inspiring and immensely destructive, leaving behind a trail of damage, especially to vehicles caught in their path. If your car has fallen victim to hailstones, navigating the hail damage claims process and repairing the damage can feel daunting. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you understand and manage the process effectively.

Assessing the Damage

The first step after a hailstorm hits is to assess the damage to your vehicle. Depending on the severity of the hail, your car may have dents of varying sizes, cracked or shattered glass, or other visible signs of damage. It’s crucial to document the damage thoroughly; take photos from multiple angles and note any other relevant details. This documentation will serve as evidence when you file your insurance claim. Note that in some cases you will have a lot of damage but it is hard to see with the naked eye unless you put special lighting on it. If you suspect you have a lot of hail damage but are not sure if it is enough to merit a claim or a repair, have an auto body professional put eyes on it first – before you call your insurance agent and make a claim.

Contact Your Insurance Company

Once you’ve documented the damage, contact your insurance company as soon as possible. Most insurance policies cover hail damage, but the specifics can vary, so it’s essential to understand your coverage. When you call your insurer, be prepared to provide details about the damage, including when and where the hailstorm occurred. They will guide you through the next steps, which usually involve filing a claim.

Filing the Claim

To file a claim for hail damage, your insurer will likely require specific information, such as your policy number, a description of the damage, and the photos you took. Some insurers allow you to file a claim online or through a mobile app, while others may prefer you to file over the phone or through an agent. Follow their instructions carefully to ensure your claim is processed efficiently.

Assessment by an Adjuster

After you file your claim, your insurance company will assign an adjuster to inspect your vehicle and assess the damage. The adjuster will examine the extent of the hail damage and provide an estimate for repairs. It’s advisable to be present during the inspection to point out all visible damage and discuss any concerns you have. Of times, the insurance company will use trusted auto body shops to help manage parts of the adjuster’s assessment of damage. In this case, the adjuster would direct you to a shop for your initial estimate. When this is the case, the estimate written by the shop will be considered the estimate of record and is the starting point for the hail repair process to begin.

Repair Estimates and Choosing a Repair Shop

Once the adjuster has assessed the damage, or the auto body shop you were referred to by your adjuster, you’ll receive a repair estimate. This estimate outlines the cost of repairs and the amount your insurer will cover based on your policy. You can choose to have your vehicle repaired at a repair shop recommended by your insurer or a shop of your choice. Make sure the repair shop you select is reputable and experienced in handling hail damage repairs. You will need to take the estimate of record to the repair facility as this is the blueprint they will be working off of for the repair. Initial hail estimates often do not fully account for all the hail damage, this is another reason it is important to give your repair shop the estimate of record. They will use this to go back to the insurance company for supplemental adjustment to necessary repairs that were left off of the original estimate.

Repair Process

After selecting a repair shop, they will begin work on your vehicle. The repair process typically involves fixing dents, replacing damaged parts, and repainting if necessary. Depending on the severity of the damage, repairs may take anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks. During this time, your insurance company may cover the cost of a rental car if your policy includes rental reimbursement.

While some insurance companies still pay for your vehicle rental up front, do know that it is becoming increasingly the case that the insurer requires you to cover the cost of rental and turn in your receipt for rental reimbursement. Additionally, know that you have rental car limitations on how many days or weeks the insurance company will cover on the rental car. For this reason it is best to drive your vehicle (if it is safely drivable) until the body shop can actually get your vehicle in to do the work. You do not want to waste your rental car coverage on a parked vehicle that is just waiting for its turn to be repair. At OKC Auto Body, we schedule hail repairs in a way that we will not have you drop your vehicle off for repair until the day we actually plan to begin work on it. This is one way we try to help our customers save on rental car costs whenever possible.

Final Inspection and Payment

Once repairs are complete, inspect your vehicle thoroughly to ensure all repairs have been carried out to your satisfaction. If you notice any issues, bring them to the attention of the repair shop immediately. Your insurer will then settle the claim by issuing a payment to cover the cost of repairs minus any deductible specified in your policy. Most of the time, unless you were given a check up front, this will be paid by the insurance company directly to the auto body shop.


Dealing with hail damage to your vehicle can be stressful, but understanding the process of filing a claim and getting repairs done can make it more manageable. By documenting the damage, communicating effectively with your insurance company, and choosing a reliable repair shop, you can navigate the process smoothly and get your vehicle back on the road in optimal condition.

Remember, each insurance policy and claim situation may vary slightly, so it’s crucial to refer to your specific policy details and follow the guidance provided by your insurer throughout the process. With careful attention to detail and proactive communication, you can ensure that your vehicle is restored promptly and effectively after a hailstorm. The best way to avoid dealing with the hail repair process is to mitigate your potential for damage on the front end, but when that isn’t possible or just didn’t happen, know that OKC Auto Works is here to help you. (405) 634-8200

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